Metallica Shreds At The Bryce Jordan Center In Front Of A Record Crowd
“Metallica’s here to kick your ass,” frontman James Hetfield said as the band took the stage Saturday night in a packed Bryce Jordan Center.
The rock band’s first performance in Happy Valley since the late 1990s shattered the Bryce Jordan Center’s concert attendance record with a crowd of 15,588 Metallica fans on hand.
“Why haven’t we ever come back here?” Lars Ulrich, Metallica’s drummer, asked.
Illuminated by giant cubed screens hovering above the stage, the heavy metal juggernauts performed for nearly three hours, finding the perfect balance between old songs and new from their extensive catalogue of high octane, head-banging thrash metal.
Following the opening act, comedian and Saturday Night Live alumnus Jim Breuer, the band entered the BJC to the song “Ecstasy of Gold,” from the soundtrack to the film The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly, a song they’ve used to open every concert since the early 1980s.
As the band approached the stage, the lights in the arena when dark. Thirty seconds later, sound and light exploded into the BJC as the band went right into their song “Hardwired” from their most recent album, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct.
Metallica has been on tour supporting Hardwired almost nonstop since its release in late 2016, and their performance Saturday showed that their love of performing and their dedication to their craft hasn’t faltered, even after more than 35 years. They have their live show down to a science, as their heavily amplified sound is bolstered by impressive displays of lights, visuals, and pyrotechnics.
The atmosphere in the BJC was exciting and electric throughout the evening, and it even included a heavy-metal cover of Penn State’s fight song.
“The spirit of this place is amazing,” bassist Robert Trujillo said before performing the fight song cover with guitarist Kirk Hammett as a tribute to Penn State’s 33-28 victory over Indiana.
After Metallica performed a slew of hits from Hardwired…To Self Destruct and a few blasts from the past like “Seek & Destroy,” “Creeping Death,” and “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” the band turned up the heat when they began the song “Fuel,” with flames soaring twenty feet high from all directions around Ulrich’s drum set.
Metallica left the stage after performing two of its most popular songs — the anti-war “One,” and “Master of Puppets” from the album of the same name. However, the band quickly returned for a three-song encore: “Blackened,” “Nothing Else Matters,” and, of course, “Enter Sandman.”
After a lengthy goodbye involving the tossing of stage equipment like guitar picks and drum sticks to fans, Kirk Hammett grabbed a mic before running off stage and said, “Penn State, YOU kicked OUR ass tonight, thank you!”
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